New England Patriots need to put up some cash

Tom Pelissero, USA Today:
The Oakland Raiders must dramatically increase their payroll over the next two years. The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and eight other teams must ramp up spending as well.

The 2011 collective bargaining agreement says teams must spend 89% of the salary cap in cash over two distinct four-year periods (2013-16 and 2017-20).

The Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots do not want to be linked with the Oakland Raiders in any fashion. The Raiders have spent $205.3 million the past two seasons and have accumulated only seven regular season victories. The cost is $29.3 million for an Oakland win. The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets made the low budget list as well. The Patriots won 12 games in the regular season, and the Raiders, Jets and Jaguars combined for 10. There does not seem to be any correlation between winning and spending.

Patriots' free agents, CB Darrelle Revis, S Devin McCourty and K Stephen Gostkowski would appear to be in line for financial windfalls. With extra spending available, none of the three players will be rooting for the dreaded "franchise tag" that limits their earning potential.

The underspending group had a few surprise teams on the list. The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins were docked millions of dollars in salary cap space in 2010, when the N.F.L. operated without a salary cap after the collective bargaining agreement expired. Both teams will make a strong push to get off the list. Dallas has high price free agents in RB Demarco Murray and WR Dez Bryant who are due big paydays. The Redskins must find some immediate offensive help for their embattled QB Robert Griffin III.

The top spending list included a few also-rans in the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears to go with top level teams, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Cap figures can be tricked up in a variety of ways, such as prorated bonuses, to make the numbers work. But every dollar spent hits the cap eventually, and every team has the same amount of spending power in the long run.

The biggest spender is the Green Bay Packers for 2013 and 2014($296.9 million, 116% of the cap).
Green Bay Packers announced earnings results for the year 2013. For the year, the company recorded profits of $54.3 million in 2013, an increase of 26% from 2012. Free agents would be wise to seek employment with the only non-profit, community-owned franchise. They have been in business for 96 years.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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